Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Nugget of Wisdom

A couple of days ago, I was talking with a friend about something.  Honestly I don't remember what the subject was but it concerned making some type of decision.  My friend and her family are pretty avid bicycle riders and she gave me the following analogy she had shared with her children about decision making.

As she and her kids were riding bikes through the neighborhood one day, she pointed out a dead squirrel in the road.  Then she proceeded to tell them that that dead squirrel was a squirrel that could not make any type of a decision.

When she told me that story, it was priceless to me.  How often do I see dead squirrels in the road?  How often, while driving through my neighborhood, do I see a squirrel run out into the road, turn, hesitate and then pick a side and run to it?  Or, as is the case of the dead squirrel, just sit there? (For the record, I slow down and wait for the squirrel to move.)

I know it happens quite a bit in our neighborhood.  Some squirrels make it.  Some don't.  All based on decision making skills.

Much of the time we just have seek advice, pray and make a decision and roll with it.  But, not making any type of decision at all can be costly.  For me, I then tend to fret about it, worry about it and second guess myself.  And, by avoiding making any decision at all, it is hard to move forward in life.

When she told me that story, I felt like I was that much wiser.  It gave me just a little more confidence in my decision making skills.  I know I don't want to be a dead squirrel . . .

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Power Plant

A little over a week ago our local power plant had an Open House.  They have one every year but this is the first year we decided to go.  Mostly because hubby recommended it.  He drives by it frequently and it is in the zone where he works so he was able to meet us out there for a little bit.

It was an open house at the power plant that generates all of the electrical power for our area of the state.  I was very, very impressed.  I really had no idea how or where our electricity came from.  I wish I had pictures but I forgot my camera.  We were able to take a tour of the plant itself.  It was big and it was loud.  Two aspect of the tour that really stood out to me were the amount of heat I felt and the construction of the building itself.

In some parts of the plant, because the generating of electricity is so hot, there is insulation almost a foot and a half thick.  One man said it gets up to 4000 degrees (if I heard him correctly - it was sooo loud.)  Also, much of the floor on the second level and above, were made out of some type of metal grating.  We were about four floors up and you could look through the floor and almost see the bottom floor.  I asked a tour guide why that was and he said that is just how the building was made.  I thought it might have something to do with the circulation of air.  But, what do I know!

I also asked if the plant ever stopped working and one of the workers said occasionally for maintenance.  But, other than that it is always producing electricity.  The plant is monitored 24/7 and the guys who monitor the computers etc. work shift work.  Flip flopping back and forth between night and day shift.

Representatives from almost all city utilities and programs were out there with displays and giveaways.  As a friend's daughter said "There is a lot of junk food out here and its free!"  She was right.  Popcorn, sodas, cotton candy and snow cones.  We spend most of Sunday afternoon out there watching, listening and learning.  I know I don't even have the beginning of an understanding of even the most basic science behind the producing of electricity or how exactly the plant works , but it did give me a better understanding of how I take a lot of our modern conveniences for granted.

We enjoyed it so much, the kids informed me we are going again next year . . .

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Basketball 2013

Boop decided he wanted to play basketball this year.  Maybe for the last time.  Daddy decided to be an assistant coach.  Saturday was the opening game of the season and they did fabulous!  So much improved from last week's scrimmage!

Sissy was there and was able to take pictures.  We really enjoyed the game.  One of Boop's good friends is on his team so that always makes it much more fun.

I have a of picture of both teams kneeling together and praying before the game.  I have another great picture of daddy, down on his knee coaching the kids.  But, the pictures have other team members in them and I don't like posting pictures without permission.  So, this is the only one I have.

Boop did awesome.  He is a little bit of a ball hog (which daddy will be working on.)  Hubby said he hit about eight shots.  He is the second tallest on the team and this is his third year playing.  I guess it is all kind of coming together this year.  All the kids hustled and a bunch of them played great defense.  There was some good passing as well.

At this age, it really is fun watching these kids play . . .

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Club and Field Trip

I have changed book club up just a little bit for this year.  We are studying our states history through great historical fiction so I had the great idea to try to do some field trips around town.

The books we have been reading have been so good.  The kids love them.  I only read a chapter a day and they always beg me to keep reading.  (Occasionally I do!)  We also have been studying little extras like the Native Americans in our area and the very early explorers.  This month is different towns and cities in our state.  Before book club begins we have a little "class" on whatever little extra subject we have been reading/studying about.

Our state has a pretty rich history dating back to the 1500s.  (Well, even before that because the Native Americans were here.)  Anyway, we have a lot of local historical sites around town and the pictures are from a field trip we took to one of them.  It is a museum of sorts based on a mission that was here in the area back in the 17th century.

The kids learned all about daily life in the mid-1600s.  We think, because there was also a school group at the mission the same time we were, that we got the benefit of the whole place being staffed with "actors."

The blacksmith showing us how to make a nail.

The soldier protecting the fort and sharing with us the life of a soldier.

The Friar.  I think the big hand was a way they taught music to the Native American children.

The mother of the house.

The garden and gardener of the house.  He shared with us what plants were native to the area and what they were used for.

We had been on a field trip to this place once before, but it had never been completely staffed.  It was a great tour and the kids (and I) learned a lot.  

I love history and book club and homeschooling . . . 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Date Night

This past Friday was date night.  Daddy took Nature Girl out on a date.  And I took Boop out on a date.  And oddly enough we all ended up at the same place at the end of the night.

Daddy took NG to Bonefish for a very belated birthday dinner.  They had a nice time, ate great food and watched people.  She had never been to Bonefish before and definitely enjoyed it.  They went to a local craft store after that and did some shopping for her Market Days crafts.  Much needed daddy daughter time.

I took Boop to Steak and Shake where we both ate too much!  He and I talked about all kinds of different things.  I asked him what his favorite subject in school was and he rolled his eyes at me and said "Awe mom."  Kind of like "give me a break."  But, then he answered that he likes to read.  He is a great reader!

Both hubby and I agreed then when a child is alone with one of us, they act different.  I guess, maybe, because they are not in competition to be heard.  Who knows.  It is a great time though.  I know it doesn't happen often enough, but I am glad that we got the chance this past week to hang out one on one.

Anyway, both Boop and I got a shake after dinner.  As we were walking out to the car, I heard someone call Boop's name.  I turned around, and in the drive thru at Steak and Shake, were daddy and NG.  NG was getting her dessert!

We chatted with them while they waited for the shake.  Then Boop and I went to spend some of his birthday money and then we met everyone at home.  We all crashed on the couch and watched the rest of the movie LM and EG were watching, the original movie Yours, Mine and Ours.  (Such a cute movie.)

It takes some coordinating to get the time alone.  But, I think it was enjoyable evening all the way around . . .

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Love the Library

I just got back from the library and I love going!  I usually don't get any books for me because I am having too much fun picking out books for the kids and school.

I get books that I have on my school list that I don't want to buy.  I get books on subjects that the kids are studying.  I get books on things I want the kids to look at.  I get books that are full of pictures about a certain subject and just leave them on the coffee table.  I get books that I want the kids to read on random subjects.  Sometimes they read them.  Some times they don't.

This trip included a book on Shakespeare's Macbeth.  We have tried listening to it in the car but a certain younger person has a hard time with death and violence and the noises they have to make to get the point across.

We are studying cities in our state so I got a couple books on the oldest city.  Boop is learning about Vikings so I got three books on Vikings.  LM is reading about 16th/17th royalty so I got her a book on Queen Victoria.  I got a missionary biography for NG on Dietrich Bonhoeffer (which now that I think about it, we might be reading for book club in the Spring.)

When I got home (they couldn't go because they hadn't finished school and chores), EG wanted to know where her books were.  Mommy fail.  I didn't get her any.  Thankfully she doesn't dwell long.  On anything.  So, the crises was avoided.

I think when I get older and the kids are grown and I am looking for something to do, I am going to volunteer at the library.  Right now that just sounds so neat to me . . . .